The Disparity Study Must Be Transparent

November 4, 2020

Mayor Kevin Faulconer
City Admin Building
11th Floor 202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Council President Gómez
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Cate
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Moreno
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Bry
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Kersey
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Sherman
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Campbell
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Montgomery
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Councilmember Ward
City Admin Building
10th Floor
202 C Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Dear Mayor and President and Members of the San Diego City Council,

We were pleased to meet with some of the team heading up the City’s Disparity Study last week.  We appreciated their experience, frankness, and eagerness for input.

Among the issues we raised today was our desire for the Study process to be transparent.  To that end, we request that the City share each and every draft of the study with the public as they are received, and not to wait until the formal public comment period to share results.

It was not so long ago that the City-funded Traffic-Stop Disparity study was heavily edited before publication, and many changes made that the community felt amounted to a City attempt to “spin” the study into a direction more favorable to the City.  Changes were even made to key study parameters that had a real effect on the quantitative outcomes of the study.

While we recognize that draft documents may contain errors, we strongly believe that to err on the side of transparency is the only way that the community will believe that justice is being done.

We, the NAACP San Diego Branch and the Urban League, pledge to work with the City to see that drafts are received in good faith, and to work with the City to correct any errors or misunderstandings that might occur.  We do NOT pledge to work with the City to do damage control if the City forces suspicious changes into the study BEFORE it is released to the public.

Please, in these times of difficulty and tension, trust is at an all-time low.  Showing exemplary transparency now is the best way to start repairing that trust.

Sincerely,

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch